Examination: oral and written
Lecturer: Katalin Pecsenye, dr. (associate professor), Judit Bereczki, dr. (senior lecturer)
Aims of the course: To get an overview on the different levels of genetic variation and to learn the most important evolutionary forces influencing the genetic structure of small populations.
Subjects of the course: The significance of genetic diversity. Different levels of genetic variation: variation in morphometric traits, chromosomal polymorphism, enzyme polymorphism, variabiliy at the DNA level. Various ways of studying DNA polymorphism: RFLP, RAPD, mini- and microstellites. Inbreeding: inbreeding coefficient, correlation between inbreeding and population size, inbreeding depression. Genetic drift. The consequences of genetic drift: random walk, loss of genetic diversity. Bottleneck effect and founder effect. Adaptive variation. Level of heterozygosity and fitness. Selection in small populations. Genetic differentiation: background, significance and consequences. Possibilities to measure genetic differentiation: genetic distances, fixation index, Wright’s F-statistics. Distance matrix and different kind of dendrograms. Gene flow, migration models and introgression. Genetic processes in fragmented habitas, metapopulation structure, the significance of ecological carridors.
Frankham R., Ballou JD. & Briscoe DA. 2004. A primer of conservation genetics. Cambridge University Press.
Beebee T. & Rowe G. 2004. An introduction to molecular ecology. Oxford University Press.
Avise JC. 1994. Molecular markers, natural history and evolution. Chapman and Hall.